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9 officers injured in 'ambush,' shootout at Phoenix home

A woman and the suspect are also dead, police said
54th Avenue and Elwood shooting
Posted at 6:53 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 22:29:51-05

PHOENIX — Authorities in Arizona say nine officers were hurt, and a woman has died after a standoff at a south Phoenix home early Friday morning.

The incident, which police described as an ambush, occurred around 2:15 a.m. when officers responded to a report of a shooting near 54th Avenue and Elwood Street, just north of Broadway Road.

An officer went to the house to help the injured woman and was invited inside by the suspect. The officer refused to enter and ambushed the suspect, who opened fire, hitting the officer multiple times.

The officer was able to get back to safety as additional crews arrived and surrounded the residence to call out the people inside, spokesperson Sgt. Andy Williams said at a Friday morning press conference.

A man was then seen coming outside the front door, placing a baby outside the home as the situation unfolded. The man then went to the officers who detained him.

As officers moved in to secure the infant, Williams said a suspect inside the home opened fire again, striking four officers with gunfire. Four additional officers were injured by shrapnel or ricocheting bullets.

Police say the baby is OK.

The suspect was barricaded in the home for several hours, and officials urged people to stay away or stay inside.

Negotiation attempts by the Phoenix Police Special Assignments Unit were initiated, and as crews made their way into the home around 7 a.m., they found the suspect dead inside.

The woman was also found inside the house with critical injuries and was later pronounced dead.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said the officers are recovering from their injuries. The initial responding officer was more seriously hurt but is also recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

The man who brought the baby outside the home also suffered injuries during the incident but is OK.

Sgt. Andy Williams said there is no information to suggest he was part of the ambush, but the investigation is still ongoing.

The suspect and woman are believed to be former boyfriend and girlfriend with a child in common, likely the baby involved in the incident.

According to Sgt, Andy Williams, it is unclear if the suspect died from self-inflicted wounds, and the motive in the shooting is unknown.

A large police presence is expected to remain at the scene for the rest of the day, and neighborhood restrictions have been implemented.

Chief Jeri Williams told KTAR the officers involved in the incident have between two and nearly 19 years of experience. She also said three of the injured officers remain hospitalized.

The officers hurt by bullet shrapnel stayed at the scene despite their injuries in an attempt to make sure the incident was taken care of before they got medical attention, Sgt. Williams said.

OFFICIALS REACT TO INCIDENT

“If I seem upset, I am... It’s senseless, and it continues to happen over and over again," Chief Jeri Williams said in a media briefing Friday morning, noting that just months ago, another Phoenix officer was shot in the line of duty.

"Please continue to pray for the five officers injured this morning," Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a tweet. "Our men and women in blue work day and night—no matter the circumstances—to protect our state from danger. Their unwavering courage & sacrifice helps to keep us safe. Arizona is deeply grateful."

POLICE SHOOTING STATISTICS

This incident marks the ninth media-reported shooting involving police in the Valley in 2022.

A tribal officer was also shot north of the Valley earlier this week, and law enforcement continues to look for a person of interest in that case.

Officials with the Phoenix Police Department believe Friday's shooting marked the most officers injured in an incident for the department.

Scripps station KNXV originally published this story in Phoenix.